1. Appreciate the Small Things
From December through April, walking around outside went from impossible to challenging to doable with care. Being able to move my gaze around the yard while I am walking Emerson is a new treat.
2. Savor the Weird Superpowers
A side affect of the vertigo is that my eyes are still sensitive to movement and colors. It makes shopping very hard. But I notice every little change in the yard. I can spot a squirrel in a tree better than the dogs.
3. Do Less, Notice More
Each day, I have a to-do list. It’s not nearly as intense as it used to be. Many days, items carry over to the next day. I am actively doing less, but noticing so much more. My mind has time to play. To watch spring unfolding. New story ideas are germinating.
4. Not Much is Life or Death, Except Life or Death
Every book launch felt like life or death to me. I would sacrifice sleep, work 14-hour days for months on end, put off socializing, ignore my body, and neglect my mind–all in pursuit of that elusive success in sales. In my mind, effort would equate to success. I put so much stress on myself that my body was literally experiencing life or death stakes over something that was so not that.
5. Make Time for What Matters Now
Every day, I take the the goldens, Rora and Reagan, out for twenty-five minutes of play time. I also take Emerson out for ten minutes of explorer time. He hates walking, but if I let him lead me around the yard, he gets to pretend he’s Indiana Jones.
6. Balance is Elusive and Requires Work
If I stop doing my therapy exercises, my balance will erode. I have to make time every day to do my exercises and to push myself a little without pushing too hard. I am constantly running into new walls and learning when to back off and when to keep nudging.
Have you found an illness or a bad experience gave you unexpected insight or lessons you needed?